Warning: Spoilers for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
Captain America’s shield is a sacred battle weapon for Steve Rogers, but multiple characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe have also used it. Throughout his time as a hero in the MCU, Captain America’s shield has had different versions and gone through a variety of changes. After starting his superhero career with the flimsy prop supplied by the USO, Steve’s shield received a massive upgrade thanks to some of Wakanda’s rare and powerful metal known as Vibranium.
The traditional Captain America shield was created by Howard Stark during World War II and used by Steve throughout his missions at that time. The shield was lost for nearly 70 years as it was frozen with Captain America. Once Steve was found and thawed out, his trusty shield accompanied him yet again as he became an Avenger and began working with SHIELD. The adventures that followed for Captain America saw him throw down the shield at the end of Captain America: Civil War and not get it back until Avengers: Endgame. It was in the latter that Thanos demolished the iconic shield, but old man Captain America brought an intact version of it back to the main MCU timeline.
Although Captain America’s shield is rare, it is a common item that can be used by anyone at the end of the day. There are no special powers granted to the user or requirements needed to wield it like there are with Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir. As a result, Captain America’s shield has been used by many different characters throughout more than a decade of MCU content. Here is every character who has wielded the shield.
It is impossible to discuss who has used Captain America’s shield without mentioning the man best known for carrying it. Steve used his original Vibranium shield for years and saw improvements made to it along the way. Instead of just relying on the Captain America shield’s power to defy the laws of physics or always making sure it bounces back to him, a magnetic attachment was added before Avengers: Age of Ultron. And even though Black Panther scratched the shield in Captain America: Civil War and Steve left it with Iron Man at the end of that movie, Tony repaired it to look like new for what proved to be Steve’s final mission in Avengers: Endgame.
Sam Wilson was just a Captain America admirer when he first met Steve Rogers, but he’s now been chosen to wield the shield moving forward and take up his friend’s mantle. Falcon hasn’t used the shield as much as the original Captain America so far, although he was going to borrow it for a moment in a deleted scene from Captain America: Civil War. Instead, his first time properly holding the shield came at the end of Avengers: Endgame. And of course, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier saw Sam get in plenty of practice with his new superhero accessory once he accepted it.
Bucky Barnes won’t be replacing Captain America in the MCU, but he has already used the shield more than anyone else besides Steve. Bucky held up the shield in defense during the WWII mission that ended with his presumed death. Later, Bucky held the shield again when he was known as the Winter Soldier during a fight with Captain America. One of his biggest opportunities to wield the shield came when he and Steve fought together, though, against Iron Man at the end of Captain America: Civil War. The Falcon and The Winter Soldier also saw him use it in tandem with Sam.
One of the most memorable uses of Captain America’s shield that didn’t come from Cap himself is thanks to Peter Parker. Spider-Man’s MCU debut in Captain America: Civil War began with a great entrance, as he took Captain America’s shield from him. Spider-Man simultaneously ripped the shield away from a surprised Captain America and webbed his hands together, all while flipping through the air and before striking an instantly classic pose. Of course, it was Captain America who got the best of the Queens native later on in a 1-v-1 battle.
Black Widow has also effectively used Captain America’s shield in a previous MCU movie. She picked up the shield off the streets when Cap lost it in Avengers: Age of Ultron and proceeded to toss it to him when he was locked in a fight with the deadly robot. But, Black Widow also got her hands on the shield again during the final battle. She used Captain America’s shield to take down some of Ultron’s robots and showed how capable she was of wielding it. Black Widow’s time handling the shield ended when she threw the shield to a running Captain America to deliver a final blow to one of the Ultron bots.
Another moment from Avengers: Age of Ultron also saw Clint Barton show off his perfect aim using Captain America’s shield. Near the beginning of the movie when Ultron is awakened, the killer robot doesn’t waste any time attacking the Avengers. This attack catches the team off-guard, especially since they were simply relaxing after a party and weren’t in their battle attire. While Iron Man and Thor were able to get some gear quickly, Captain America was knocked far away from his classic shield. Thankfully, Hawkeye was there to grab the shield and throw it across the room to Steve.
John Walker, a.k.a. US Agent, made his debut as a villain/antihero in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier. In a move that left Sam and Bucky (and likely many viewers) surprised, Captain America’s shield is given to Walker towards the beginning of the season, as the government believes they have to have a new Captain America. John Walker/US Agent ends the series at a low point, having lost both the shield and the title to Sam Wilson, a much more deserving candidate. But this likely won’t be the last time he’s seen, as Valentina Allegra de Fontaine has recruited him for whatever Dark Avengers/Thunderbolts team she’s putting together.
As with many of the moments in which other MCU heroes have wielded Captain America’s shield, Scarlet Witch’s use of it in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is brief, but it’s still quite impressive. Rather than throw the shield by hand in the classic fashion, though, she actually manipulates it with her levitation powers in self-defense while fighting Captain Carter in Doctor Strange 2 to set up the ending in a brutal fashion. Because it’s Captain Carter’s shield that Wanda uses, there’s room for debate on whether she has actually wielded “Captain America’s” shield or not. Regardless, the shield Scarlet Witch throws in Doctor Strange 2 isn’t the same one used by all the other characters listed, as it isn’t the one first owned by Earth-616 Steve Rogers.
Similarly, Captain Carter/Captain Britain has technically wielded the shield in the MCU, but only the version of it from her own timeline. First introduced in What If…?, Captain Carter is an alternate version of Captain America. In the animated show, her origin story follows the same trajectory as Steve Rogers’ until the moment he’s supposed to receive the super-soldier serum, in which case Peggy steps in to take it in his place after he’s injured. The Illuminati version of Captain Carter seen in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness may have the same origin story, but this is never fully revealed. She does, however, also bear a British slant on the original star-spangled shield, which she uses in her fight against Scarlet Witch. Wanda ultimately wins, parrying a shield toss with magic to cleave Captain Carter clean in two.
Alongside the characters who have actually used Captain America’s shield, some others have simply held it in their hands. Ant-Man got it back for Steve in Captain America: Civil War but didn’t use it, and Tony Stark handed it back to Steve in Avengers: Endgame without ever using it himself. Red Skull also got his hands on it momentarily, and Iron Man 2 even featured Phil Coulson holding a prototype of the Captain America shield. All in all, Captain America’s shield has been used by more characters than many viewers might’ve realized in the MCU movies.
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